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Offer HN: Will Work For Karma
220 points by todayiamme on Oct 24, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 63 comments

HN has always been there for me when I needed advice, and for a long time I have pondered about a way to give back to this wonderful community. Today, I've finally figured out how to do that.

One thing that I've consistently noticed is that most hackers struggle a great deal to write/refine pitches, blog posts, documentation, support emails and their ilk. Further, I really do think that the founders should worry more about their code and customers than figuring out the site content.

At the same time compelling insights into the product are important. If the writer doesn't get your vision, then it really doesn't matter which side of greatness they fall into. After all how can you communicate, when you don't know what you're communicating about?

So, I'm willing to do this for you. I'm willing to write whatever you throw at me and I am desperate to give you hard feedback. Moreover, I don't want money for it. Good karma in ever sense of the word will do.

Thank you for reading this.

P.S. - I'm perfectly willing to do stuff even if it doesn't involve writing. Just email me at yesthisisananonymousid@gmail.com and let me know.

Also, if you are an HNer and see a "Rate my X" post in the new section, be sure to give feedback. I usually upvote everyone of those I see even if I dislike the idea behind the website\service linked. After all, they are asking for criticism! Otherwise they slide off quick and I don't see anyone else commenting on them. Most people are here for commentary, but support all creators.

I used to use the upvoting more like a HN-only bookmarking service. But you've enlightened me. I'm changing my policy now.

Why, is there a section where you can see all your upvotes?

Nice. How come "saved" isn't on my main navigation bar? Weird :)

This is the first "Offer HN" submission I've ever seen, it may be the first one even, so double thanks: one for your offer, the other for (hopefully) starting this trend.

I'm thinking of doing this for design. I want to set aside 5 hours every Friday to work on designs for pet projects of HN hackers. In exchange for this, I get to blog about it. :D

Would people be interested?

EDIT: doing this. I'll post once a week on HN and the highest rated project on the page (crowdsourcing ftw!) gets 5 design hours. Look out for it tomorrow!

Here is someone a little while back who did a Rate My X: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1794251

He has a ton of programming done and the site is working, but he is clearly no designer and needs a lot of help on design [ he might have improved it some since then ]. Probably a GREAT candidate to reach out to.

That would be incredible, not just for the people selected but as a weekly masterclass for those of us without design talent - before and after helps a lot.

Yes, this would be amazing. Thank you for doing this. Speaking for myself, I'm desperate for design help, but don't really know the best way to find/work with a designer.

That would be insanely awesome. I know for one that I suck at design and try hard to get better.

sahillavingia is one of the top web designers here, I think it's totally worth it to get 5 design hours free off him. too bad I don't have any pet project atm :)

Woah, too kind guys. Anyways, here's the post: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1831960


I just want to say this is an awesome post. I like it :)

Well, if you'd like, check out http://youmixer.com and tell me what you would improve about it to make it viral. I'm working on another project right now, but I'm always curious how I could have made youmixer better.

You can just reply on here if you want to keep your anonymity.

Hey, it's a cool idea, and one that needs to be addressed because google still haven't mastered the art of the playlist on youtube.

I think you should change the logo, it looks a bit cheap.

From what I can see, anyone can contribute to a mix, this isn't desirable, if you can figure out a way of upvoting the best mixes, you might be onto a winner ...

good luck

Thanks for the feedback. I just wanted to correct you on one point:

mixes have two settings: visible_to and editable_by. Only mixes that are editable by everyone fall into the category you describe. People can choose "self", "friends" or "everyone" for any mix.

I think the problem is not the privacy, it's the complexity and lack of a good user flow... what was your experience going through it? Did you give up at a certain point? Was it kind of lame?

I feel like I need to get a web designer and just re-design the experience.

I just asked for help with http://tabtrick.com/

Thanks for offering your help. I am sure good things will come to you!

Cool idea. Another typo (remove the 'a' in 'create a custom' or the 's' in Pages): TabTrick let you to create a custom Facebook Pages for your business quickly and easily.

By the way, I just checked out your site (cool idea), but there're a few typos on the main page: "Your business needs <to> be on Facebook."

Thanks. It's fixed now.

really cool ... i'd like to help with this also

feel free to email me: nellboy(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Great idea! I just sent you an email to review my site at http://www.maziesoftware.com/


Thanks for the awesome response and you don't need to ask for help. I'm the one offering it. If I don't reply to your mail soon then don't worry. It's just that I have an awesome bunch of people to help and I my hands can work only so fast.

Thank you so much.

I did a "Rate my Startup" post for my startup (http://www.happybuy.com/) a little while back that didn't get much traction:


Would be great if you had any feedback on the site you could provide. Although not purely writing, any experience or advice on how to improve its SEO would be most appreciated as the current search traffic is low.

Thank you for helping out other HN'ers.

Except for ghastly yellow. I think that you have an interesting idea over here. I understand that deal aggregation from something like EBay would be a tough job. Mainly due to quality problems, but if you add an ecosystem like that and track people themselves (to see if they have a good deal history or not) into the algorithm then you can have something that pulls a lot of weight.

The way I see it you could make a ranking algorithm based on price * trust, Where trust is a weighting function dependent upon the number of sales previously completed; the satisfaction recored (as per ebay et al metrics) and the cost of the article vs. the original (too good to be true scenario).

If you make something like that then I would use it in a heart beat.

Please email me if you want to continue this conversation.

Take this for what it's worth, but the first thing I notice is the extremely bright yellow rectangle on your home page. Maybe it's because I have eyes that are somewhat sensitive to bright lights, but it's aesthetically very difficult to stay on your site. Everything else looks great, though. Maybe just a slightly darker color..?

I concur. I saw this massive yellow block and closed the tab immediately.

Thanks for the comments. Personally I like the yellow but can understand that it may be too much for some people.

Do you think its primarily just the large yellow area on the homepage, or that the yellow regions on the other pages are problematic (which are more used for highlights)?

The color is fine as a branding point, it's just the large block of what I would describe as neon chick yellow completely throws one off if not expecting it. Its a color that would work beautifully for the logo and some highlights. As it is I feel is too much on the main page and I really don't like it on the other pages to the sides, though I think its great as a border to the search bar.

My advice? Try to invert the colors on the main page and make only the logo yellow (and to the bag in white or something like that, and use another color or maybe just the base color enhanced by shadows. And remove the yellow bars to the side on the other pages, and perhaps only use a single yellow horizontal bar to separate sections.

Edit: Use the yellow for details and highlights only (and of course the logo) not for big chunks of design.

Why not try an a/b test? I bet that another color will test better...

Yes I could do that however the yellow is the primary color of the brand which would mean more than a simple change. I'd prefer to reduce the large expanse of yellow than change the primary brand color.

I also have a queasy feeling a/b testing aesthetics especially when its a brand attribute which over time may become a strength as opposed to a current weakness. In other words I think for certain things, a/b testing starts to create homogenised results and sites.

I think there's nothing wrong with the color as your brand logo, but perhaps think of making another color accent it nicely on your home page or making it a more subtle part of your color scheme. The way you have it set up on other pages is a nice compromise (even though I think it's still a bit too yellow):


I just want to reiterate: everything else on your site looks awesome (really awesome)..but that giant yellow block really hurts my eyes.

Just sent you an email - we need help with http://disqourse.com - a lot of help! :)

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Hi, I'd be very grateful to you for your feedback and thoughts on http://grep42.com.

Thanks! :-)

I've got a new product, it's had some success, but my copy is an abomination. I'd love some feedback-- the site is earningstrades.com


Of course, just give me some time to compose something thoughtful and deal with this deluge.

Oh and no, thank you.

The "Testimonials" button underneath "User Satisfaction" really should line up with the other buttons on that row.

yeah i changed up the font size last night, so i'll have to fix that, thanks!

I could really use some help with pitches and how to deal with potential customers when you are the founder. I am trying to kick off my startup, http://www.quintre.com , but worry about getting overwhelmed and flat out rejected at every turn.

I'd love your feedback on our copy and overall message at http://commerce.exorbyte.com - thx! (infous AT exorbyte.com) Thanks!!! You'll get more than Karma if you can help us!

Who are you?

I prefer to stay anonymous due to personal reasons. Yes, I talk extremely openly and honestly, but it's a bit too hard to trace it all down to me.

On the other hand, who I am has little or nothing to do with how I can help you, and I want to keep it that way, for now. I know that this might seem foolish, but there are compelling, practical reasons behind it.

I request anyone reading this not to breach my privacy. I've made that offer in good faith and it would be heart breaking to face something like that.

Thank you.

I vouch for todayiamme's valid reasons to be anonymous.

But how'll you get the karma?

I think he means real life Karma not in HN

Sometimes the best Karma is the private feeling of having been helpful :)

I'm sure she wants to remain anonymous judging by her email.

It's a great offer, btw. I'd feel way too guilty for her like that though.

Edited: Sorry!

Oh and don't feel guilty at all. I've gotten my share out of this equation and this offer is my way of paying back.

edit: no worries. That's a side effect of anonymity.

In case OP runs out of cycles I'd suggest people try out http://wordspa.com I've had good experiences there in the past.

I don't need your help. However, it takes a big person to offer to help randomly, for nothing other then intangibles, so well done for that.

I hope you get lots of neat stuff to do ^_^

I just asked for help with http://recruiterbox.com/ Thanks for this!

I just checked out the site and the copy that jumped out at me that needs revision is the sentence: "all with one clean, zippy software"

Perhaps you could revise the copy to: "Recruiterbox is a no-nonsense recruitment tool. Publish jobs, screen resumes & track applicants - an all in one, simplified approach to recruitment . At a price that will make you smile."

Thanks for the feedback, @happybuy

I sent you a message asking for feedback on http://vendder.com

Would love to hear what you have to say


In the spirit of this thread I'll give some food for thought. The copy here [http://d.pr/Wixb] is a little hard to read because of the font's thinness in contrast to the background color. I'd bold it, or increase the size a small bit. The copy looks AOK to me in regards to content. Good Job!

thanks for the comments. I will improve the letter size.

I just sent you an email asking for help for http://watchth.is/

Thanks in advance!

Very generous. Hats off to you man.

Wow - this is an amazing offer. I'm sure you must be swamped in work already, so expect a "no time anymore answer", but I'll send you a request for help on documentation for http://www.webpop.com

thats something i have never seen on HN. You must be really starting a new trend for others to follow. Bravo!

Just sent you an email to review http://www.tripntale.com. Thankyouverymuch!

You mean karma in HM terms?

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